Ethical Labor Practices in Hospitality

Under Staffed 

According to Hospitality Insights, 94% of hotels were understaffed in 2022 and replacing those employees lost during the pandemic remains a challenge for the hospitality industry in 2023. 

Hotels must entice qualified employees by providing a safe working environment with dedicated managerial support, competitive pay, less stress, and promising career paths.

Staff management and recruitment strategies should include communication of a clear code of ethics and your commitment to fairness and accountability.

Happy employees are much more hospitable. 



Automation & Innovation

Burnout from overwork or underpaid labor is a continuing concern. Innovative hotels are turning to automation options to alleviate stress on their staff. 

Research and invest in housekeeping software to optimize work assignments and improve efficiency and productivity. 

Look for ways to reduce labor time for menial tasks such as robot vacuums. If you don’t have the budget for purchasing large equipment, look at leasing options.


When you can’t fill every job, consider cross-training employees across multiple skills for flexibility and backup, and be sure to compensate these employees accordingly. 

Staff Safety & Welfare

Focus on improving staff safety by utilizing employee safety devices (ESDs) such as panic buttons. All of your staff–from the minibar attendant, pool lifeguard, masseuse or valet–should be able to summon help if they face a difficult situation, including help from first responders for guests or co-workers who may be in medical distress. 


Flexible Family Considerations

Hospitality labor shortages will probably persist through 2023 and competition to find workers will be stiff. 

Consider flexible work schedules and shorter shifts, or the ability to bring children to work. You can design workplace rules with childcare concerns in mind such as dedicated and supervised areas for homework, diaper changing or breastfeeding.

Employee Retention

In the ongoing tight labor market, the hospitality industry needs to prioritize employee retention. In addition to the other considerations discussed employers should emphasize their investments in employee development with ongoing training, mentorships and clearly defined career paths. 


Make clear your code of ethics, and your commitment to reputation, fairness, and accountability in all of your recruiting efforts. The increase of social media to source candidates makes your messaging across all media even more crucial to potential employees.



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